Tired of the status quo as a remote worker? Looking to get promoted and grow your career? If you want to transition into a leadership or managerial role, would your company be open to having a remote employee manage people in the home office? The challenge for most teleworkers looking to advance their careers is how to not become invisible. When I say invisible, I mean out of sight and out of mind in the hearts of colleagues and managers. Fact is, that employees that don’t have the typical “face-time” with co-workers and supervisors must work a little bit harder to make a good impression. There is no faking being productive when you’re a remote employee.
It takes a well-conceived plan, dare I say a calculated strategy, to demonstrate your value while working off-site. By taking ownership of building the career of your dreams, you have a better chance of being promoted, earning more money, and climbing that highly sought-after corporate ladder. Here are 7 proven strategies for advancing your career as a remote employee. Get ready to hustle hard!
1. Choose a Remote First CompanyAre you the only employee in your company working remotely? If you are looking to advance, you might want to consider switching it up. According to a recent article by FastCompany, “it’s easy for remote workers to feel left out if they don’t work for a company that has taken measures to build trust and connection between their on-site and remote employees.” Don’t fight an uphill battle. Choosing a remote-first company with an established infrastructure is a great way to showcase your talents.
2. Overcommunicate – Do You Hear Me Now!It’s important to get “face-time” and check in with co-workers and supervisors on the regular. Take the time to send a quick Slack or IM to update the team on the latest project developments. Like a tree that falls in the forest, if no one hears you, do you make a sound? Being available the best you can during regular business hours is a good start. Try joining an after-work virtual chat or meetup group. It’s imperative to set clear expectations with your boss from the start. Spend time learning how to communicate so that they actually “hear” what you are saying. Speaking the company language makes a difference. All your hard work might fall on deaf ears if you don’t present your data and information in the expected tone, format, and style.
3. Optimize Your EnergyAside from keeping a strict exercise and meditation routine, work smarter not harder. The way in which you choose to utilize your time and energy has a huge impact on advancing in your current role. You can be your own best friend or your own worst enemy! If you know you are a night owl and more productive and energized in the middle of the night, then schedule your biggest work challenges when you are at your best. It seems like an easy concept to adopt, right? Wrong.
4. Be the Company EntrepreneurLet’s be honest. If you’re a company man or women working from home, the road, co-working, wherever – you already have an entrepreneur’s spirit within you. Don’t fight it! Use it to further your career. Embrace your inner entrepreneur by being a lifelong learner. Create personal habits that expand your understanding and enhance your marketable skills and personal passions. Who knows that side hustle could end up your full-time dream job!
5. Become a Great WriterIn my humble opinion, mastery of the written word is one of the most undervalued skills in business today. Without the advantage of simply walking to the corner office to ask for clarification, remote employees rely heavily on clear and concise email communication. There is an art form to crafting the perfect email. Before sending your communication, it’s always a good idea to read over your message multiple times. Ask yourself, “is it clear what I am requesting? Could this message be confusing to any recipients?” Become a great writer and set yourself up for success.
6. Create ConnectionGood relationships are built on one thing – trust. Figure out how to earn the trust of your supervisor, and you are 10x more likely to be promoted. People are people but that doesn’t mean we can’t all learn to get along in a business setting. Look for ways to problem solve ahead of the issue, before personal conflict, assumption, and ego get involved. You will thank yourself later by making a small effort right now to socialize with co-workers – especially if you are in the same city. No matter how many Zoom calls or live chats you participate in, there is no substitute for face to face conversation and connection.
7. Instead of Being Volentold, Try Volunteering!This simple act shows the people you want to impress that you are invested in the company. It also signals you are ready to take on more responsibilities and willing to go above and beyond to get the job done. You may not agree, but a little brown-nosing from time to time can go a long way. Just saying.
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